Mental Health Diversion ("MHD")

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

San Bernardino County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

Mental Health Diversion (“MHD”) is a viable alternative to incarceration for the mentally ill population by allowing defendants in criminal cases to be evaluated, diagnosed, and placed into the appropriate community-based treatment programs. To make the MHD program even more efficient and successful, the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office (“PDO”) established a unique, collaborative approach with the Department of Behavioral Health (“DBH”). Using this collaborative approach with DBH, 94% of PDO clients who are granted MHD are either currently performing successfully, or have already performed successfully, and have had their cases dismissed as a result.